Treatment with a Barrier-strengthening Moisturizer Prevents Relapse of Hand-eczema. An Open, Randomized, Prospective, Parallel Group Study
Marie Lodén, Karin Wirén, Knut Smerud, Nils Meland, Helge Hønnås, Gro Mørk, Claus Lützow-Holm, Jörgen Funk, Birgitta Meding
Hand eczema influences the quality of life. Management strategies include the use of moisturizers. In the present study the time to relapse of eczema during treatment with a barrier-strengthening moisturizer (5% urea) was compared with no treatment (no medical or non-medicated preparations) in 53 randomized patients with successfully treated hand eczema. The median time to relapse was 20 days in the moisturizer group compared with 2 days in the no treatment group (p = 0.04). Eczema relapsed in 90% of the patients within 26 weeks. No difference in severity was noted between the groups at relapse. Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) increased significantly in both groups; from 4.7 to 7.1 in the moisturizer group and from 4.1 to 7.8 in the no treatment group (p < 0.01) at the time of relapse. Hence, the application of moisturizers seems to prolong the disease-free interval in patients with controlled hand eczema. Whether the data is applicable to moisturizers without barrier-strengthening properties remains to be elucidated.